Merry Chrismukkah: Matzah Ball Soup for the non-Jew

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I’m spending Christmas in Maryland with my Dad and Mark (before they leave for their European vacation!). As I’ve noted Mark is Jewish and I have fully embraced Jewish food traditions… meaning this trip for Christmas we made Matzah ball soup! (BTW, is it Matzah or Matzoh? Does the spelling matter?)

Not only was it delicious, but it was one of those fun cook all day type of meals. The soup simmers all day, filling the house with wonderful smells! As with our chopped chicken liver and our potato latkes from my last visit, we used Andrew Zimmern’s recipe with a few adaptations. Only note on the recipe – make your matzah ball batter the night before (both Mark and AZ recommend this) AND discard the vegetables and chicken from the stock once it is prepared and add fresh veggies and chicken (we didn’t but should have. Once the stock is cooked, they don’t have any flavor left… the chicken was quite dry after hours simmering).

Sidenote – Merry Chrismukkah. Here’s an oldie but a goodie! I am now a devout follower of Chrismukkah! (I need to re-watch The O.C. in the new year).

 

 

Matzoh-Ball Soup

First, make the matzoh batter:

1¼ cups matzoh meal

2½ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp minced garlic

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

5 large eggs, 3 separated

¼ cup melted schmaltz

¼ cup minced onion

1 tbsp vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine the matzoh meal, onion, salt, garlic, baking powder and baking soda. Into the dry ingredients, add 2 whole eggs, the 3 egg yolks and the schmaltz. In a separate bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until whipped.

Stir in one-third of the beaten egg whites until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.

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Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter and refrigerate for about 20 minutes or overnight, until firm.

Next, make the soup:

2 quarts chicken stock broth (or enough to cover the chickens)

One 3-pound chicken (we used two)

4 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 large dill sprigs

Kosher salt & Freshly ground pepper

Poultry seasoning

In a large pot, add the chicken, vegetables, herbs, seasonings and stock.

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Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer until cooked, about two to three hours.

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Remove the chicken and let cool slightly. Keep some of the cooked chicken and vegetables and discard the rest (skin and bones, etc). Strain the soup, skim off the fat and return the soup to the pot. **If desired, refrigerate overnight, making the fat much easier to skim off.

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Make the matzoh balls:

Form batter into balls (use oil to keep your hands moist). Boil in a pot of chicken stock, about 25 minutes.

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Return the chicken soup to a simmer. Add fresh carrots, celery, onion, and any other vegetables as well as shredded chicken. Cook through while matzoh is going.

Fill a bowl with one of the matzoh balls and spoon soup over. Serve immediately.

Matzah Ball Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups matzoh meal
  • 2½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 5 large eggs, 3 separated
  • ¼ cup melted schmaltz
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock broth (or enough to cover the chickens)
  • One 3-pound chicken (we used two)
  • 4 large carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 small onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 parsnips, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 large dill sprigs
  • Kosher salt & Freshly ground pepper
  • Poultry seasoning
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the matzoh meal, onion, salt, garlic, baking powder and baking soda.
  2. Into the dry ingredients, add 2 whole eggs, the 3 egg yolks and the schmaltz.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until whipped.
  4. Stir in one-third of the beaten egg whites until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain.
  5. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter and refrigerate for about 20 minutes or overnight, until firm.
  6. In a large pot, add the chicken, vegetables, herbs, seasonings and stock.
  7. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer until cooked, about two to three hours.
  8. Remove the chicken and let cool slightly. Keep some of the cooked chicken and vegetables and discard the rest (skin and bones, etc). Strain the soup, skim off the fat and return the soup to the pot. **If desired, refrigerate overnight, making the fat much easier to skim off.
  9. Make the matzoh balls:
  10. Form batter into balls (use oil to keep your hands moist). Boil in a pot of chicken stock, about 25 minutes.
  11. Return the chicken soup to a simmer. Add fresh carrots, celery, onion, and any other vegetables as well as shredded chicken. Cook through while matzoh is going.
  12. Fill a bowl with one of the matzoh balls and spoon soup over. Serve immediately.
 

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